Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mohammad Afzal

NEW DELHI: The mastermind behind the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack, Mohammed Afzal, will be executed on October 20.

Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur, signing the death warrant on Tuesday, directed the Tihar Jail authorities to make arrangements for hanging Afzal at 6 a.m. on that day.

Afzal was awarded the death sentence by the trial court here in 2002. The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court later upheld it. The apex court also rejected his review petition

Four accused

There were four accused in the case — Mohammed Afzal, Shaukat Hussain, Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru, wife of Shaukat Hussain, and S.A.R. Geelani, a Delhi University lecturer.

The Supreme Court had acquitted Geelani and Afsan Guru and reduced the death sentence awarded to Shaukat Hussain to 10-year imprisonment.

Five Pakistani militants, Mohammed, Haider, Hamza, Rana and Raja, attacked Parliament, but security personnel killed them.

Clinching evidence

The attack also claimed the lives of nine security personnel and caused injuries to16.

The Supreme Court had said there was clinching evidence against Afzal of his nexus with the terrorists killed in the attack.

The trial court, on December 18, 2002, awarded death for Afzal, Shaukat, and Geelani, and five-years imprisonment to Afsan Guru.

High Court sentence

The Delhi High Court, on October 29, 2003, upheld the sentence awarded to Afzal and Shaukat under Sections 302 (murder), 121 (waging war against the nation) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (2) and 4 of Prevention of Terrorism Act, but acquitted Geelani and Afsan Guru. While Afzal and Shaukat filed appeals in the Supreme Court against the death sentence, the Delhi Police appealed against the acquittal of Geelani and Afsan Guru.

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